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Milwaukee Anchor Collaborative

How can we help as many people as possible? Help lift them out of poverty and revitalize our poorest neighborhoods?


By partnering with some of Milwaukee’s largest employers—“anchor” institutions. 


These anchors have the economic power, and commitment to our community, to make the deepest impact. Working together, they’re even stronger. 


That’s why we’ve spearheaded the creation of the Milwaukee Anchor Collaborative.


What’s an anchor collaborative?

It’s a group of anchor institutions, such as healthcare systems and universities, rooted in their communities. They commit to focusing their everyday business activities—hiring and purchasing, for example—on creating jobs, increasing incomes and investing in our disadvantaged and disinvested neighborhoods. 


Anchors collaborate, increasing their economic impact by leveraging their unified power.


Examples: They purchase together to support local businesses, such as contracting with a commercial laundry or a supplier of personal protective equipment. They work together to create training programs to help fill positions commonly in demand. 


Across the country, an increasing number of anchors have been forming collaboratives to maximize their financial power. Research shows they’re making a significant impact. The Milwaukee Anchor Collaborative is based on these successful models.

Who is in the Milwaukee Anchor Collaborative?

The Milwaukee Anchor Collaborative is launching with the following anchor institutions.

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These organizations have committed to applying their economic strength and human capital to mutually benefit the anchor and community.

What are the Milwaukee Anchor Collaborative’s goals?

The collaborative is focused on hiring residents, and purchasing from businesses, in eight Milwaukee zip codes: 53204, 53205, 53206, 53208, 53210, 53212, 53216, and 53233. The combined population is 206,000, with 33% of living in poverty.


Together, the anchors have set these goals:

  • Collectively increase purchasing with businesses owned by people of color in these ZIP codes by $5 million annually by 2026

  • Collectively increase hiring of residents of color within these ZIP codes by 33% by 2026


What is JobsWork MKE's role?


For years, we’ve been assisting participants with gaining employment within our anchor institutions. But each partnership with each anchor was separate. We recognized the benefits of bringing the anchors together. So, we led the effort to create the Milwaukee Anchor Collaborative. 


Now, JobsWork MKE will serve as the “boots on the ground” for the collaborative, helping the anchors reach their goals by: 

  • Identifying businesses they can purchase from 

  • Working with workforce development agencies, including internally at JobsWork MKE, to provide candidates for employment

Want to join the Milwaukee Anchor Collaborative?

The Milwaukee Anchor Collaborative welcomes institutions with the ability and motivation to play a key role in improving the long-term well-being of the communities they serve. 

For more information, contact Rodney Moutry at JobsWork MKE.

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